More than 25 years later, the details of this day stand out in my mind with startling clarity. Something about life and death situations has that effect. Five days earlier Sam saw the same doctor – he said she had the flu but every day after that she got worse. For the first time, she was too weak to trick or treat.
Although I’m married to a trial attorney who does some medical malpractice, we never considered suing the doctor for his failure to diagnose her correctly. This dermoid cyst thing was so unusual that no doctor would jump to that conclusion first – or even second. It wasn’t what they expected to find when they started surgery. They were after a bad appendix (even though the problem was on her right side.) What they found shocked us all.
I feel so blessed to live in this century, in this country, where medicine was advanced enough to save her. A hundred years earlier, the gangrene would’ve killed her and no one would’ve ever known why. Although this was a a horrible harrowing experience, I feel nothing but gratitude she came through it safe and sound.